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Safety and Security Plans


The state school security director appointed pursuant to section 79-2,143 shall be responsible for providing leadership and support for safety and security for the public schools. Duties of the director include, but are not limited to:

(1) Collecting safety and security plans, required pursuant to rules and regulations of the State Department of Education relating to accreditation of schools, and other school security information from each school system in Nebraska. School districts shall provide the state school security director with the safety and security plans of the school district and any other security information requested by the director, but any plans or information submitted by a school district may be withheld by the department pursuant to subdivision (8) of section §84-712.05;




School Safety Standards


The state school security director appointed pursuant to section 79-2,143 shall be responsible for providing leadership and support for safety and security for the public schools. Duties of the director include, but are not limited to:

(2) Recommending minimum standards for school security on or before January 1, 2016, to the State Board of Education

  • Presentation to the State Board of Education

  • Adopted Standards and Indicators

  • Standards and Indicators Rubric

  • Standards and Indicators Technical Assistance Guide

  • Security Self-Assessment



Security Assessment


The state school security director appointed pursuant to section 79-2,143 shall be responsible for providing leadership and support for safety and security for the public schools. Duties of the director include, but are not limited to:

(3) Conducting an assessment of the security of each public school building, which assessment shall be completed by August 31, 2017

NDE Security Self-Assessment

Other details for the security assessment.


Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to the NDE Bullying Prevention FAQ website. The following questions are shared here so that all educators and parents will benefit from the responses to these inquiries about bullying and safe and secure learning environments.

Click on the question to be directed to the response.

Link to other Frequently Asked Questions (California Department of Education)

Responses to Frequently Asked Questions

How common is bullying?

Studies in many different countries over the last twenty years have shown that bullying in schools is common. It is not unusual to find that a third or more of the pupils were involved in bullying, either as victims or bullies. However, it is very difficult to measure bullying accurately. Observation only tells part of the story. Much bullying happens in places it is impossible to observe, and much involves behavior which may be indistinguishable from normal play or conversation – to an outside observer anyway. Interviewing adults and children can produce conflicting and confusing reports of the level of bullying. Most researchers therefore use questionnaires, which allow a large number of people to be surveyed. It should be remembered however that, although such surveys have allowed us to understand much more about this difficult problem, they can only measure people’s perception of the level of bullying, rather than the actual level. Most people who take part in such surveys try to answer the questions as honestly as they can. But it can be difficult for young people involved in bullying to admit to themselves the truth of what is happening, let alone to admit this to others.

Does age make a difference?

Many studies have found that the number of children who report being bullied decreases with age. This finding – that more younger children than older children report that they have been bullied, begs a number of questions:

Are younger children more likely to report bullying because they are more trusting of adults?

Do teenagers find it more difficult to admit to being bullied because to do so would conflict with a natural desire to appear ‘grown up’ and ‘able to look after yourself’?

If this reported reduction in the number of bullying victims matches the reality, what is the cause? Are older children less likely to bully others than younger ones? As people grow older do they learn to avoid being bullied?
(Andrew Mellor)

Are there differences in the bullying experiences of girls and boys?

Many studies have found that there are differences in the bullying experiences of boys and girls. Most of the studies covered here have found that it is more common for boys to be involved in physical bullying. Girls on the other hand are more likely than boys to be involved in psychological bullying (for example ignoring someone or deliberately keeping someone out of a group). However, for both boys and girls, the most common type of bullying is verbal. The research finding that boys are more likely to be involved in physical bullying than girls is unsurprising. However, we should not assume that because of this, bullying among boys is more serious or damaging than that among girls. It could be that the more obvious methods of bullying used by boys makes it easier to spot – and to stop – than the subtlety of girls’ bullying. It is also worth noting that many of the cases of suicide where bullying has been identified as a cause, have involved girls who have not been physically bullied but ‘only’ subjected to name-calling and isolation.This is one of those areas that really does need more research. Another relates to the differing levels of peer support available to older boys and girls. Is it really true that teenage girls are more likely than teenage boys, to have the emotional support of a close friend? And, if this is true, does this then mean that a girl who does not have a ‘best friend’ will feel far more isolated and inadequate than a friendless boy?
(Andrew Mellor)

Are some children more likely to be bullied than others?

Bullying can happen to anyone, at any time in their school career, but there are some characteristics and factors which might make it more likely. Any child can become the victim of bullying if he or she is put into a school where bullying is not tackled effectively. Being different in some obvious way (such as ethnicity, disability or religion) may make it more likely that a child will be bullied. However, research seems to be pointing towards social skills and character as being even more closely linked to involvement in bullying than these more obvious factors. What is often not clear is whether a child is bullied because she is anxious and has low self- esteem, or is anxious and has low self-esteem because she has been bullied. (Andrew Mellor)

Are some children more likely to bully than others?

Some of the major bullying studies have identified certain characteristics which are found in many children who bully. For example being uncaring and having a positive view of violence. The studies did not find that a typical bully has low self-esteem (as previously suggested). It is important to remember that this is a general picture and there will be exceptions. There are some people who consistently bully others. It may be reasonable to describe these people as ‘bullies’ and to try to find out if they have any distinguishing characteristics. However, if we accept that ‘bullying’ is often a group activity in which one person may be picked on by the majority of his classmates, any attempt to describe the common characteristics of these ‘bullies’ is likely to fail. They are involved in a social activity and have a wide variety of family circumstances and personal characteristics. (Andrew Mellor)

How popular are victims and bullies?

It has been found that victims of bullying tend not to be as popular as their peers (including bullies). Scandinavian research found that bullies tend to be as popular (or almost) as their peers, although their popularity drops as they get older. (Andrew Mellor)

What do pupils do when they are bullied?

Children who are being bullied react in different ways. However many studies have found that in response to bullying, children will often attempt to stand up to the bully (without fighting). Perhaps we should be concerned here about what makes it possible for many children to stand up to bullying and what makes it difficult for others to find effective personal coping strategies. The information in these studies can be used in discussions with parents and children about the way that they could react to bullying.
(Andrew Mellor)

Who do children tell when they are being bullied?

Many studies have found that children who are being bullied become less likely to tell as they get older, and when they do confide in someone, it is much more likely to be a family member or friend than a teacher. A worrying finding of many studies is that a lot of children do not tell anyone. Creating an atmosphere of openness in which children feel safe enough to talk to an adult about problems, is one of the key challenges for schools. In a 1989 study, half the pupils who had been bullied had told no-one about it. In a 2002 study this proportion had fallen to 22 per cent, which points to an increasing willingness among bullied pupils to talk. This could be due to the development of anti-bullying policies in schools during the period between the two studies. (Andrew Mellor)

Why don’t children tell?

Children give a variety of reasons for not telling an adult about bullying, ranging from being afraid of what the bullies might do if they found out, to feelings of failure because they could not deal with the bully themselves. The reasons that children give for not telling are usually reasonable and logical. The fear of retaliation is real and should be acknowledged. However, this fear is sometimes expressed in another way – as a fear that the adult will do something which will make matters worse. This knowledge can help adults to react more sensitively when approached by bullied children for help. (Andrew Mellor)

Does bullying cause problems in later years?

Unfortunately studies have found a connection between being bullied in childhood and problems in later years. There are a number of ways in which childhood bullying may be linked to problems in adult life. It has been suggested that some victims are brutalized by their experiences and go on to become bullying or abusive adults. It has also been suggested that some bullies graduate to more serious adult criminality. However, it should be remembered that the majority of people who are involved in bullying at school (either as bully or victim) go on to have happy, productive adult lives. The size of the proportion who are not so lucky is unclear, but there are many people who believe that their lives have been blighted by childhood bullying. (Andrew Mellor)

Where does bullying take place?

Many studies have found that the most common location for bullying is the school playground. The fact that most studies have found that bullying is most common in the playground is unsurprising. Teachers are often uncomfortable with the fact that so many pupils have said that the classroom is an important location for bullying. Sometimes this happens when the teacher is not present, but it can also happen in subtle but damaging ways right under a teacher’s nose. (Andrew Mellor)

What does it feel like to be bullied?

It is widely accepted that bullying causes distress, at times extreme. Some studies have gathered information about the emotions children experience when they are being bullied. These studies help us to understand the range of emotions that may be experienced by a bullied child. At one end of the spectrum it is upsetting for a short time. At the other end it can drive a child to contemplate suicide. In between are various feelings and reactions, but a major concern for teachers and parents is that the strength of these feelings can have a serious effect on learning. For example, it is difficult to concentrate on what a teacher is saying when you are being subjected to glances – glances which are imperceptible to the teacher but which say to you, ‘you may think you are safe here in the classroom but just wait until …’ (Andrew Mellor)

Does bullying cause health problems?

Many studies have found that there is a link between being bullied and health problems. If bullying causes stress and stress can cause physical illness, this could explain the findings of some of these studies. Perhaps even more worrying is the link that is emerging between bullying and mental health. (Andrew Mellor)

Is there a link between childhood bullying behavior and anti-social behavior in later years?

As yet, there have only been a few studies which have looked at links between bullying behavior and later anti-social behavior. However the existing studies have found a link. It is important to remember that most children who admit to bullying others (up to 50% in some studies) do not go on to commit crime as adults. The studies which have found a link between childhood bullying and criminality tend to use a much narrower definition of what constitutes a ‘bully’ than is used in the majority of studies aimed at measuring levels of bullying in school.
(Andrew Mellor)

What is the role of peers in bullying?

Studies have found that peers do play an important part in bullying whether they are openly encouraging it or ‘just’ standing by and watching. It has been suggested that if witnesses of bullying are not actively trying to prevent it, they are encouraging it (whether they realize it or not). This question shows just how complex a bullying situation can be. An adult observer may find it difficult to distinguish between those children who are actively involved in bullying and those who are bystanders. What is clear, however, is that bystanders may provide the key to finding a solution to many bullying incidents. Peer pressure can be positive as well as negative. (Andrew Mellor)

What are the feelings of bystanders?

As the findings presented here suggest, bystanders have different feelings about bullying. Some are upset by it, but unfortunately there are some who seem to enjoy it. It is likely that children’s attitudes towards bullying are changing as the subject is discussed more and more in schools. In 1990, bullying was rarely discussed in schools in Scotland and other English speaking countries. By 1996 most schools in the UK and Australia had adopted anti-bullying policies and an Australian study mentioned seemed to point to the fact that the majority of young people now think that bullying is wrong. (Andrew Mellor)

Is bullying usually carried out by an individual or group?

Many studies have found that it is most common to be bullied by a group rather than an individual. However there are studies which have found it more likely to be bullied by an individual. The important thing here is that group bullying and bullying by an individual are both common. However, they are often very different types of behavior. An individual who consistently bullies others in a variety of situations usually has a number of personal and social problems, of which bullying is only one manifestation. A bullying group may be composed of individuals who have little to distinguish them from their non-bullying peers. (Andrew Mellor)

Is there a difference between the personal characteristics of the individual and the group bully?

There seems to be very little in books or articles on the personality differences of the individual and the group bully. The researcher, Ken Rigby, feels that more attention should be paid to this difference. This is a crucial difference. It is remarkable that it has not been the subject of more research. It is particularly important for teachers to decide whether they are dealing with group bullying or individual bullying when reacting to an incident or episode. Some reactive strategies, such as the ‘no blame approach’ are only effective when used in response to group bullying. Many individual bullies need long term behavior support to deal with this and the other undesirable behaviors they exhibit.
(Andrew Mellor)

How are different groups, such as ethnic minorities and disabled pupils, affected by bullying?

Some studies have looked at whether being part of a particular group makes it more likely that a child will be bullied. Unfortunately some studies have found that being part of a minority group can make it more likely. Racism and bullying are very closely related. In schools, it can sometimes be difficult to decide where one ends and the other begins. These studies show that being a member of a minority group increases the risk of being bullied in certain situations. If all minority groups are educated in separate schools, any resulting trouble might be described as ‘conflict’ rather than ‘bullying’. Even where children are completely separated in this way, sub-groups can become a target. In one school where all pupils had some degree of sight loss, the minority who were completely blind were picked on by children who were partially sighted. (Andrew Mellor)

Are there differences between types of school?

As this selection of studies shows, there is no clear agreement on whether the type of school (for example size and location) affects bullying levels or not, sometimes it will, sometimes it won’t. The research evidence here is conflicting and confusing. At the moment it seems safe to say that there is no conclusive evidence which shows that the size of a school, its religious orientation, the ethnicity of its pupils, whether it is privately or publicly funded, or the social class or wealth of the parents of the children at the school has any influence on the level of bullying. (Andrew Mellor)

Do children “grow out” of bullying others?

Children need direction and raising to “grow out of” certain behaviors. A child who is allowed to abuse others will do so unless he/she is compelled to stop, to change their ways. The bully-child needs to be told that only he/she can control what they do, but we (parents) and society can use powerful, memorable consequences to help them decide to stop bullying. They need the strong message that there is no excuse for violence. Parents, and society – teachers, principals, other students and adults that the bully comes in contact with – and if necessary, a judge – must persuade them to stop. (Julie Clark)

If there is “no excuse” for violence, does that mean that a child should have to put up with physical bullying?

No, not at all. No one should have to put up with violence. Defending oneself against physical assault is not violence – it is self-defense. We teach our kids to scream for help if they’re in danger of being kidnapped, we tell them what to do in just about any situation we can think of…except bullying. No one has to tolerate bullying. (Julie Clark)

Is bullying only physical, or the threat of the physical such as hitting, kicking, and so on?

No, bullying is not limited to physical abuse. That is often the first thing one thinks of when one thinks of bullying – one kid beating up on another. Bullying can also be emotional – lying and gossiping about another, excluding and spreading rumors is bullying. Name calling, harassment, put downs and ridicule is also bullying – verbal abuse. Remember, bullying is abuse. And when one is constantly called “fudge pudge,” “ugly,” referred to as “gay” “homo” “fag” and so on, that child is being verbally bullied. Low self esteem is one result of verbal abuse, and is probably worse than physical abuse most children say. To dismiss verbal abuse as not a part of bullying is turning a blind eye to a very real problem.

What schools should do about bullying?

Schools should first have a clear, unambiguous idea of what bullying actually entails. They should first learn what bullying is, and then write a clearly defined policy, put it in effect, and enforce it consistently. (Julie Clark)

The principal and teachers at my children’s school say that they can’t do anything if they don’t see the bullying happening first hand. Even when several children all report the same thing, the bullies still get away with it because bullies won’t bully in front of authority figures. What can we do?

When bullied children are not believed, they can fall into despair and think that no adult cares. Bullies count on this, and it is a dangerous situation. When a child reports being bullied, they should be helped by those who are supposed to make sure that the children are safe. If there are not enough adults in the school to properly supervise, ask the principal if cameras could be installed in areas of the school where bullying is likely to take place away from adult eyes or recruit volunteers to help supervise. (Julie Clark)

The Nebraska Department of Education offers this website to provide awareness and resources that help schools prevent bullying and provide safe and secure environments. Click on the topics in the column on the left for bullying prevention information. 

Bullying Prevention Site Information

NIMS – Training for Schools

National Incident Management Systems (NIMS) for Schools



FAQs about NIMS Implementation Activities

Staff Development

Training and instruction for bullying prevention and intervention of all administrators, certified staff, support staff and ancillary groups should include developing awareness, skill-building, and monitoring progress to effectively prevent and/or intervene in bullying behaviors and encourage pro-social behaviors.

Refer to the Resources section of the Bullying Prevention website for additional information.

Staff Development Plan

All staff should become aware of basic information and strategies for bullying prevention and intervention. Training on the school’s instructional plan or curriculum for students regarding the issue of bullying should be provided for staff who are responsible for classroom instruction. The staff development plan should additionally provide for training of new staff or others who would be in need of the information.

Awareness – Reviewed Annually (All Staff)

Introductory staff development provides awareness of bullying and can be conducted through direct presentations, meetings, role plays, video resources, literature, etc. and may include the following.

  • Explanation of the district’s goal, definition of bullying and anti-bullying policy

  • Vocabulary related to bullying

  • Clarification of the difference between bullying and normal conflict, bullying and harassment

  • Types of bullying and examples of bullying behaviors

  • Explanation of related issues (sexual harassment, other harassment, hazing, cyberbullying)

  • Characteristics of the participants in bullying situations (bully, target, bystander)

  • Research or information on the impact of bullying on individuals, academic performance and school climate

Prevention and Intervention – Updated Annually (All Staff)

Building on awareness, all staff should be provided with strategies to prevent and intervene in bullying. This information should be reviewed annually with a report on new data and local program modifications or updates.

  • Local data on bullying behaviors (location, types, etc.)

  • Local program/plan for prevention/intervention (school bullying policy, supervision plan, curriculum, etc.)

  • Specific strategies for addressing the participants in bullying situations

Instructional Plan for Students – As Needed (Administrators and Teachers)

Based on a review of the needs assessment and current programs or curriculum, staff development may provide information or training on additional resources and/or new programs/curriculum adopted by the school. A comprehensive bullying prevention education plan for students includes understanding of the bystander’s role in preventing or intervening in bullying and social skills development for all students.

Specialized Training – As Needed (Administrators and Interventionists)

Schools may designate a person(s) to serve in the role of interventionist who takes on the primary responsibility for working specifically with social skills training for those students who engage in or experience bullying behaviors (bullies, targets.) 

The Nebraska Department of Education offers this website to provide awareness and resources that help schools prevent bullying and provide safe and secure environments. Click on the topics in the column on the left for bullying prevention information. 

Bullying Prevention Site Information



What is Bullying?


Developing an understanding of bullying includes recognizing what bullying is and is not, the types of bullying behaviors, issues related to bullying and the characteristics of those involved in bullying situations.

Refer to the Resources section of the Bullying Prevention website for additional information.

Defining Bullying

  • Deciding on the Appropriate Definition
    A district may choose to develop a local definition or adopt a definition found in the literature sources or a locally adopted curriculum. Consideration should be given to differentiating bullying from other behaviors such as normal conflicts and harassment.

  • Themes Which Define Bullying Behaviors
    Display or unjust use of power
    Repeated and targeted negative behavior
    Intentionally harmful behavior 

  • Definitions of Bullying
    Definitions of bullying are found in a variety of resource materials, curriculum materials, journal articles, and websites. A commonly referenced definition of bullying follows: “A person is being bullied when he or she is exposed, repeatedly, and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons.” Olweus, D. (1993). Bullying at School: What We Know and What We Can Do. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Publishers, Inc.

Bullying Behaviors

  • Bullying or Normal Conflict 
    Normal conflict can occur any time or place and is generally accidental and resolved by the parties in the conflict. Bullying behaviors occur where the person bullying feels safe engaging in power-seeking behavior which is intentionally harmful and directed at someone who is considered weak or vulnerable and generally is resolved by third party intervention.

  • Bullying or Harassment 
    Harassment behaviors share the common themes found in a definition of bullying and additionally recognize that the behavior is discriminatory toward protected classes of individuals. For example, specific types of harassment would include sexual harassment or racial harassment.

  • Types of Bullying 
    Bullying behaviors may be direct or indirect and include verbal and nonverbal behaviors that cause physical, social/relational, or emotional/psychological harm. The following lists provide examples of various types of bullying behaviors. (Adapted from: Bonds, Marla and Sally Stoker, (2000). Bully-Proofing Your School: A Comprehensive Approach for Middle Schools. Sopris West).

    • Physical Aggression: harm to a person or a person’s property Examples: pushing, shoving, spitting, kicking, hitting, ruining property, stealing, physically humiliating, locking in a closed space, physical violence against family or friends, threatening with a weapon, inflicting bodily harm

    • Social/Relational Aggression: harm to a person’s group acceptance Examples: gossip, embarrassing on purpose, spreading rumors, ethnic slurs, setting up to take blame, publicly humiliating (reveal personal information), excluding from a group or activity, manipulating situation to assure rejection, threaten with total isolation by peers

    • Intimidation: harm to a person through pressure or fear Examples: extortion, threatening looks, threaten to reveal personal information, graffiti, publicly challenging to do something, playing a dirty trick, threats of coercion, coercion, threatening with a weapon

    • Verbal Aggression Examples: mocking, name-calling, taunting, teasing about clothing, possessions, or appearance, intimidating phone calls, verbal threats against possessions or of inflicting bodily harm: harm to person through spoken words 

    • Written Aggression: harm to a person through written words Examples: slam books, note passing, graffiti

Related Issues

  • Sexual Harassment: harm to a person through insensitivity to gender Examples: unwelcome comments or actions of a sexual nature; jokes, personal conversations, comments, stares, grabbing clothing or body parts, repeatedly asking someone out, pressure for sexual activity, cornering, standing too close

  • Racial/Ethnic Harassment: harm to a person through insensitivity to race or ethnicity Examples: jokes with racial or ethnic targets; exclusion due to race or culture; racial or ethnic slurs; verbal putdowns; public humiliation, destroying property, physical or verbal attacks due to race or cultural group membership

  • Cyber-bullying: harm to a person through the use of information or communication technology Examples: e-mail, cell phone and pager text messages, instant messaging, defamatory personal Web sites or blogs, sending or posting photos via cell phone or web sites

  • Hazing: harm caused through acts that carelessly or intentionally endanger the health or safety of another for the purpose of initiation or as a condition for affiliation Examples: forced activity, prolonged isolation, sleep deprivation, activities that cause humiliation, physical or mental harm.

Who Is Involved In Bullying?

  • The person who exhibits bullying behaviors (bully, perpetrator)
     displays power in some form( size, popularity, athleticism, knowledge, etc.) thrives on feelings of dominance; lacks empathy; uses blame; does not accept responsibility; craves attention; may have a small network of friends; without intervention, could continue to exhibit bullying behaviors which may escalate to other types of antisocial or more aggressive behaviors

  • The person who experiences the bullying behaviors (target, victim)
     lacks social skills such as friendship and assertiveness skills; may be passive (withdraws appearing weak) or provocative (restless with pesky behaviors or taunts); experiences isolation, frustration, hopelessness or fear leading to inability to concentrate, loss of interest in school, and, in more severe situations, suicide or violence toward others

  • A person may be involved as both – one who exhibits and experiences bullying behaviors (bully-target) Characteristics: exhibits characteristics of both one who bullies or one who is bu llied based on the circumstance or setting; experiences the highest level of depression; punishment and zero tolerance are not effective; needs one-on-one therapeutic model in order to break the cycle of bullying/victimization.

  • The person who observes or knows about the bullying behaviors (bystander, witness)
     generally involved in some capacity if only as an observer; feels empathy yet seldom steps forward; feels powerless to defend support the target; actions (not reporting, joining in, etc.) protect self from becoming a target; may begin to think the bullying behaviors are the ‘norm’; may feel guilt for not acting to stop the harmful behaviors; can successfully prevent or intervene if given instruction and practices intervention strategies (not join in, involve peers, assertive statements, report procedures, friendship and other social skills) 

  • School staff involvement “Although the major concern in schools is bullying among students, bullying involving adults in the school community adds to the problem of peer victimization and must be addressed. ” (Adapted from Rigby, Ken. 2001.. Stop the bullying: a handbook for teachers. Markham, Ontario, CA: Pembroke Publishers). The bullying definition themes of repeated, intentionally harmful behaviors and unjust use of power apply to these situations as well as those among students.

    • Bullying of students by staff: 
      Circumstances: insisting on unrealistic goals; unacceptable methods of pressuring students (threats, humiliation, etc.); singling out an individual student to gain control of the class; or motivated by personal prejudice 

    • Bullying of staff by students:
      Circumstances: deliberate acts to torment or frustrate the teacher; lack of effective classroom management skills or inappropriate curriculum/instruction on the part of the staff member provides opportunity for misbehavior; may occur when parents are not supportive of school staff and undermine their authority

    • Bullying between adults (between colleagues or staff and parents):
      Circumstances: seek control through actions outside of role; humiliation or domination as a result of personal antagonism; insensitive to roles and responsibilities of the other

The Nebraska Department of Education offers this website to provide awareness and resources that help schools prevent bullying and provide safe and secure environments. Click on the topics in the column on the left for bullying prevention information. 

Bullying Prevention Site Information




Resources are helpful in understanding the complex issues of bullying. While this listing is by no means exhaustive, many of these web resources provide references to additional websites or programs that may meet the needs of a particular school or district. 

Endorsement Disclaimer – Links to Other Sites: Our web site has links to many other agencies, and in a few cases we link to private organizations. You are subject to that site’s privacy policy when you leave our site. Reference in this web site to any specific commercial products, process, service, manufacturer, or company does not constitute its endorsement or recommendation by the Nebraska Department of Education. NDE is not responsible for the contents of any “off-site” web page referenced from this server.


  • Bullying/Violence Prevention
  • Positive Student Behavior
  • Developmental Assets


Bullying – General InformationBullying – Special Topics

Government Sites

State/Regional Sites

Organization Sites








Sexual Harassment



Positive Student Behavior

Children and Youth Bullying Literature

Sites for Youth

Parent Information


United States Department of Education (search “bullying”)

United States Department of Health and Human Services: Stop Bullying Now


California Department of Education

Colorado Anti-Bullying Project

University of Nebraska – Lincoln


American Association of University Women – (search “bullying”)

American Medical Association

Anti-Bullying Alliance

Anti-Bullying Network

Anti-Defamation League

Bully B’Ware

Bullying Online

Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence

Committee for Children: Information on Bullying and Sexual Harassment

National Association of School Psychologists

National Crime Prevention Council – Bullying

National Education Association

National PTA – (search “bullying”)

National School Boards Association (search “bullying”)

No Bully


Sharing Information Through Partnerships

Stop Bullying Now


Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence

National School Board Association: Hazing–Debunking the Myths About This “Right” of Passage

New Jersey Department of Education

Safe Schools Coalition


United States Department of Education – Office of Civil Rights

United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission


Inside Hazing: Understanding Hazardous Hazing

National School Board Association: Hazing–Debunking the Myths About This “Right” of Passage

Stop Hazing Organization


i-SAFE America


The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning, University of Illinois – Chicago

Institute on Violence and Destructive Behavior, University of Oregon

Michigan Positive Behavior Support Network

Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports, U.S. Office of Special Education Programs


ADL Curriculum Connections

Carol Hurst’s Children’s Literature Site

Institute for Families in Society (USC) A Resource Guide to Bullying


McGruff home page

PBS Kids


Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence (Warning signs and general characteristics of targets; characteristics and interventions for bullies; bullying myths)

Kids Health for Parents: Bullying and Your Child (Types of bullying; signs and interventions for targets; interventions for bullies)

National PTA (Bullying general information; bullying behaviors; links to related articles)

Parentbooks (Book list for parents and youth)

The Nebraska Department of Education offers this website to provide awareness and resources that help schools prevent bullying and provide safe and secure environments. Click on the topics in the column on the left for bullying prevention information. 

Bullying Prevention Site Information

Prevention & Intervention Strategies


Prevention and intervention strategies include school-wide programs and individual actions to stop bullying behaviors and encourage positive behaviors. All staff, students, parents and others associated with the school or community should share the responsibility for bullying prevention and intervention.

Refer to the Resources section of the Bullying Prevention website for additional information.

School-Wide Prevention and Intervention

The most effective anti-bullying plan is designed and implemented with specific knowledge and skills consistently trained and used throughout the school district. This plan declares a school’s commitment to creating a safe, caring and respectful learning environment for all students. A bullying prevention and intervention plan adopted by the district might include specific behavior programs, forms used, philosophies of interactions, curriculum, or basic protocols. Effective anti-bullying programs or curriculum implement a scope and sequence of knowledge and skills to be learned by all students and requires school-wide involvement and support. Students involved in bullying situations benefit from additional instruction specific to their role as one using bullying behaviors, as a target, or as a bystander/witness.

Prevention Strategies

Prevention is best addressed by communicating and teaching the expected pro-social behaviors.

  • Clearly communicate policy and protocols for bullying behaviors to all staff, students and parents

  • Discussion and presentations about bullying and caring behaviors are ongoing

  • Empower bystanders to promote and take responsibility for creating a safe and welcoming environment

  • Provide a means for safely reporting bullying behaviors

  • Staff are observant and responsive to reports of bullying

  • Students are recognized for caring behaviors

  • Adopt a social skills curriculum

  • Monitor and adjust local bullying prevention program based on analysis of local school data and best practices in the field of bullying prevention (change in supervision, use of resources, methods of communication, reporting procedures, etc.)

Bystander/Witness Interventions

Activating and empowering the bystanders/witnesses through education about bullying and practice (role plays) in intervening is the most impactful intervention. Group training for bystanders includes emphasizing that there is strength in numbers and that permission is given with the expectation to intervene respectfully and safely or report the bullying behaviors. Determining specific bystander interventions depends on analyzing the level of risk of a particular bullying situation.

School/Classroom Strategies for Bystanders

  • Talk about it with the class

  • Emphasize strength in numbers

  • Explain the expectation to take action

  • Teach and practice skills and strategies to take a stand

  • Empower witnesses to take leadership roles in making the school safe for everyone

  • Acknowledge and reinforce caring behaviors

  • Clarify the difference between tattling and telling (reporting).

Individual Strategies for Bystanders

  • Make a safe choice; consider the level of risk in choosing an action for intervening.

  • Teach options for intervening:

    • Choose to not participate

    • Report to an adult

    • Encourage the peer group to take a stand

    • Take an individual stand

    • Be friendly toward the target

Target Interventions

Targets need to be supported by a third party and have their reports taken seriously. Target interventions typically include teaching social skills such as friendship, assertiveness and anger management skills. Interventions for targets may be done one-on-one or in a support group. Targets should not be re-victimized by bringing the target and perpetrator together to try to resolve the situation.

School/Classroom Strategies for Targets

  • Provide a safe place to report; take all reports seriously

  • Assign new or needy students to a buddy

  • Assign a caring staff member to “connect” regularly with the students who are potential targets

  • Get a caring majority in the classroom; use class meetings/discussion to teach expected behaviors and model value of each person

  • Consider how students are grouped so that the targets are not left out and are not paired with someone who bullies them.

  • Teach friendship and assertiveness skills.

Individual Strategies for Targets

  • Provide options for preventing bullying incidents

    • Avoid the bully

    • Stay in safe areas

    • Share your feelings with someone you trust

  • Provide options for responding to bullying incidents
    • Walk away

    • Make an assertive statement, then walk away

    • Tell an adult

Bullying Behavior Interventions

School discipline policies, while needed to address student conduct issues and support positive student behaviors, are not sufficient to address bullying behaviors. Bullying behavior interventions may include teaching social skills such as friendship, empathy and anger management in one-on-one settings, not in a group setting. Discipline should be addressed privately. Interventions focus on identifying the expected behaviors.

School/Classroom Strategies for Bullying Behaviors/Perpetrators of Bullying

  • Equalize the power – work one on one

  • Challenge distorted thinking.

  • Use consistent, predictable discipline

  • Focus on behaviors and expectations

  • Use a problem-solving approach

  • Forward documentation to a central location to be reviewed regularly

Individual Strategies for Bullying Behaviors/Perpetrators of Bullying

  • State (do not ask) rule violated, feelings of target, and plan of action

  • Teach social skills

    • Friendship skills

    • Empathy skills

    • Emotional self awareness

    • Social awareness

  • Develop personal management skills
    • Anger and emotion management

    • Assuming personal responsibility

  • Provide pro-social consequences

The Nebraska Department of Education offers this website to provide awareness and resources that help schools prevent bullying and provide safe and secure environments. Click on the topics in the column on the left for bullying prevention information. 

Bullying Prevention Site Information

Program Development

An effective anti-bullying program addresses the unique needs of a particular school, involves a school-wide approach which engages all affected groups (students, staff, parents and community), develops social and emotional competencies, provides skills to prevent or intervene in bullying situations and responds to bullying behaviors consistently and appropriately.

Refer to the Resources section of the Bullying Prevention website for additional information.

Program Development

Decisions regarding development of a bullying prevention program or plan may vary from changing supervision assignments to adopting curriculum depending on the unique needs of each school or district. Consideration may be given to the following ideas in determining the most effective program or plan. 

  • Conduct a review and alignment of current policies and prevention programs

  • Collect, organize and interpret bullying behaviors data.

  • Determine district needs and goals related to a safe and secure learning environment

  • Identify effective programs, curriculum and/or strategies to develop pro-social behaviors and address bullying behaviors.

  • Recognize and celebrate successes

  • Review program and sustain effort over time.

Education/Training Plan

  • Training and instruction of all groups (certified and non-certified staff, students, parents/community, volunteers, etc.) will support the development of a safe and secure environment. 

  • A comprehensive training/education plan is ongoing, based on the needs of the school, and includes developing awareness, skill-building (prevention and intervention strategies) and monitoring progress. 

  • The education plan for students develops sequentially through all grade levels and provides helpful resources for students who are bystanders, targets of bullying behaviors and engaging in the use bullying behaviors.

Components of Quality Bully Prevention Programs

Adapted from Limber, Susan P., PhD .(2005.) “Bully Prevention and Intervention in a Post-Columbine Era.” Power and Empowerment: Iowa Governor’s Conference on Bullying and Harassment, January 2005.

  • Focus on the entire school environment Comprehensive school-wide effort to identity and address problem areas and effectively intervene in bullying behaviors; change in student and staff ‘norms’ , i.e., behavior expectations

  • Data informed decisions Students, staff and parents participate in surveys or other methods of collecting experiences and perceptions of school climate and behaviors; program components and implementation are determined or modified after analysis of data

  • Support provided for anti-bullying prevention District support for prevention plan includes school administrators and majority of teachers, paraeducators, and support staff (clerical, custodial, food service, transportation)

  • School bullying prevention coordinating/leadership group Ongoing planning and review of plan implementation conducted by a leadership team with representation of administrator, counselor, parent, community, teachers(grade level representation), support staff, and other health professional; student representation if appropriate

  • All-staff Training Awareness and skills training in bullying prevention and intervention includes administrators, all teachers, health professionals, support staff, paraeducators, volunteers, substitute and student teachers, etc.

  • Bullying policy is developed and enforced Rules guide student behaviors – including children who bully and who are bystanders; consequences and skills training is consistently used to address bullying behaviors

  • Adult supervision assessed and increased in bullying “hot spots” All adults recognize bullying behaviors and acknowledge caring behaviors; supervision is increased in areas known to have high incidents of bullying

  • Interventions are consistent and appropriate All adults are prepared to intervene whenever bullying behavior is observed; plan is in place to follow up with bully, targets, and bystanders; students are empowered to report bullying and know how to respond when a peer is bullied; adults know how to respond to reports of bullying

  • Direct and intentional instruction on bullying prevention Regular (weekly) time is set aside for students and staff to discuss bullying prevention and peer relations; resources (videos, literature, skills lessons, etc) are available and used to develop awareness and competence in responding to bullying; bullying prevention information is integrated across the curriculum and shared with parents

  • Prevention efforts are continued over time New staff are trained; ongoing curriculum/instruction is provided across grade levels; regular communication with parents/community is provided; data is collected and reviewed annually

Program Development Planning Resources

Anti-Bullying and Program Development Checklist (pdf)

Anti-Bullying Policy and Program Development Discussion Guide (pdf)

Anti-Bullying Policy and Program Development Rubric (pdf)

The Nebraska Department of Education offers this website to provide awareness and resources that help schools prevent bullying and provide safe and secure environments. Click on the topics in the column on the left for bullying prevention information. 

Bullying Prevention Site Information